di·​gres·​sion | \ dī-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce digression (audio) , də-\

Definition of digression

1 : the act or an instance of leaving the main subject in an extended written or verbal expression of thought : the act or an instance of digressing in a discourse or other usually organized literary work Every place Hamilton, his parents, or his wife visited over a century's time is described at length; everyone he met merits at least a minor biographical digression.— Willard Sterne Randall
2 archaic : a going aside

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Other Words from digression

digressional \ dī-​ˈgresh-​nəl How to pronounce digressional (audio) , də-​ , -​ə-​nᵊl \ adjective
digressionary \ dī-​ˈgre-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce digressionary (audio) , də-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for digression


aside, divagation, excursion, tangent

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Examples of digression in a Sentence

the professor's frequent and extended digressions are the stuff of campus legend

Recent Examples on the Web

The two narratives begin all tangled up, alternating paragraphs, before separating out into chapter-long digressions about the two heroes’ lives. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Téa Obreht Considers the Camel," 28 Aug. 2019 There were no digressions, no temporary losses of focus. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Serena Williams Rocks, Then Rolls at Wimbledon," 11 July 2019 John Lanchester has a wide-ranging recounting of the history of money, filled with plenty of interesting digressions, in The New Yorker. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How Target Used Less Tech to Succeed—Data Sheet," 22 Aug. 2019 Historical digression may sharpen a politician’s profile. Bruce Fuller, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Nation should look forward, not back, to diversify schools," 20 Aug. 2019 There are also dry-witted digressions on Where’s Waldo? Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Hannah Gadsby brings her shrewd discomfort comedy to new show Douglas," 26 July 2019 While editor Joseph Borruso handles with assurance the daunting challenge of assembling such a wealth of material into a fluid narrative with plenty of entertaining digressions, the doc could perhaps have been more decisively structured. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles': Film Review," 7 Aug. 2019 Premiering on July 24, South Side is the more conventional of the two, with all the rapid-fire jokes and zany digressions of a Tina Fey joint. Judy Berman, Time, "This Late-Night Comedy Duo Created Two of the Summer's Funniest New Shows," 18 July 2019 Talk of Bull Connor, McCarthyism and Father Coughlin turns to digressions on Bloody Sunday, the Edmund Pettus Bridge and John Lewis. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "On the road with Cory Booker in New Hampshire," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'digression.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of digression

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for digression

see digress

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Dictionary Entries near digression







dig up

Statistics for digression

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for digression

The first known use of digression was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on digression

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with digression

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for digression

Spanish Central: Translation of digression

Nglish: Translation of digression for Spanish Speakers

Comments on digression

What made you want to look up digression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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